Dr Hilary Jones issues warning over Covid restrictions lift

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Dr Hilary Jones has issued a stark warning over Covid-19 restrictions lifting, with the doctor worrying it’s too early.

Boris Johnson announced that Plan B measures including mandatory mask-wearing, and Covid passes will come to an end when regulations expire on January 27.

People will no longer be advised to work from home as Omicron cases fall across the country.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary reflected: ‘This is a worry to many, many people. It’s not just me who thinks it’s too much too soon. Teachers, NHS providers, the Royal College of Nursing, UNISON, they’re all very concerned that taking away all restrictions suddenly, despite the data, is too much too soon.’

‘Hospitality will be happy, hospitals will be horrified. Simple as that,’ he continued.

Asked whether the lifting of restrictions will lead to more transmission, Dr Hilary said: ‘Of course it is. It’s going to increase transmission enormously.

‘If you’re not self-isolating, despite having Covid, you’re taking that virus out into the community and, despite vaccination, there will be a lot of people who still don’t have immunity, or in who the vaccination hasn’t been effective.’

‘But is the virus now a virus that we can share, without it being as much a concern, much like we talk about the flu?’ Ben Shephard asked.

‘People talk about this becoming endemic,’ Dr Hilary said. ‘People talk about, “We’ll have to live with Covid,” and indeed, we will have to live with Covid. But at the same time, we’ll also have to learn to die with Covid.’

The Government will ‘continue to suggest the use of masks in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet’.

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But the prime minister said he ‘would trust the judgement of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one’.

He told MPs: ‘As we return to Plan A, the House will know that some measures still remain, including those on self-isolation.

‘In particular, it is still a legal requirement for those who have tested positive for Covid to self-isolate.

‘On Monday we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests, and there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

‘As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.

‘The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24, at which point I very much expect not to renew them. Indeed, were the data to allow, I’d like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forward.’

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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